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Australian Swimmers Asked to Sign Wavers Before US Meet - 2001-10-11

Australian swimmers are being asked to sign disclaimers preventing Swimming Australia from being sued should one of the athletes be injured or killed in a terrorist attack at next month's World Cup and U.S. Open in New York.

The forms were sent out to all Australian swimmers scheduled to take part in the World Cup series meet in New York November 27 and 28. The unprecedented move came because Swimming Australia was not able to obtain insurance coverage that included death or injury in a terrorist attack.

Similar forms will have to be signed for a sprint swimming event and for the U.S. Open in New York.

The moves by Australian Swimming come after the Australian Rugby league team canceled its tour of Britain because of security concerns over the allied air strikes in Afghanistan.

Last month, Australian Olympic champion swimmer Ian Thorpe revealed that he was scheduled to be in the World Trade Center when it was struck by two hijacked aircraft. The multiple world record holder was to have been on the center's observation deck at the time of the terrorist attacks, but had returned to his hotel because he forgot his camera.